A time to act

Dr. Marc Drake

The story is told of a farmer whose old shed was struck by lightning. He wasn’t too concerned and, in fact, said it relieved him of having to tear it down. Then the rain washed off his car and saved him from that chore as well. When asked what he was doing now, he replied, “Waiting for an earthquake to shake the potatoes out of the ground.” Well, there is a time to wait, but there’s also a time to act! If you are waiting for a perfect or ideal situation, you will miss some great opportunities – like the young man who vowed never to marry until he found the ideal woman. Unfortunately, when he found her she was waiting for the ideal man!

A failure to act can be illustrated with the little story of three turtles that went on a Sunday afternoon picnic. One carried the basket of food, one carried a jug of Turtleade and the third turtle carried nothing. They set up for the picnic, but then felt raindrops. The two turtles that carried the food agreed that the one who carried nothing should go back and get the umbrella. But he didn’t want to do that for fear that they would eat all the turtle food and drink all the turtleade while he was gone. Finally, however, they prevailed upon him to go back and get the umbrella. Well, several hours went by with no sign of him. Then days went by—then two weeks—no sign. One of the turtles said, “Well, I guess we can eat the turtle food and drink the turtleade because he’s not coming back.” At that point they heard a voice over in the bushes say, “If you do, I won’t go.”

I’m afraid that too many times we are like that turtle. We don’t want to miss the picnic, so we take no risks and refuse to move forward. For those who know Jesus, there is certainly a time to wait on the Lord (see Isaiah 40:31) but there also comes a time to move forward with courage and faith, pursuing the direction God has made clear. In the Bible we see people who, at God’s command, did things that completely defied human logic: Noah built a ship on dry land; Abraham was willing to offer up his only son; Moses gave up the treasures of Egypt to identify with God’s people and Joshua besieged Jericho for seven days depending on God alone to give the victory. Furthermore, there are countless others (in the Bible and down through history) who trusted in the Lord with all their heart and immediately moved forward at His direction.

Are there areas in life where God is asking you to do that? We don’t have to be afraid we’ll miss the picnic by moving forward! We only miss it when we hold back and play it safe.